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Liquid Meals

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Meal substitutes are a convenient way to reduce calories. A typical meal substitute in powder form is Slim Fast# and in liquid and bars is Ensure. Meal substitutes should provide protein and be low in fat and calories. They should be labeled with the amount of calories per serving and the percentages of protein, carbohydrate, and fat. The total number of calories per serving is predetermined so it is easier to keep track of the daily consumption of calories.

The makers of Slim Fast and Ensure spend millions of dollars every year advertising the their products for quick weight loss and extra energy. But you can save a lot hard-earned money by making your own "meals in a glass". However, before doing so, there are a few facts that are essential to making smart choices and getting the most out of your liquid meals.

When making yourself a "meal in a glass", do remember that many shakes and smoothies are high in calories due to the intent of replacing solid foods. Therefore, be sure your liquid meal is your entire meal if you are trying to lose weight. For those wishing to gain weight, eating solids with a liquid meal can help.

The biggest nutrition downfalls of liquid meals are protein and fiber -- they do not contain enough. Read product labels of the ingredients going into your recipe so as to be sure you get adequate fiber and protein content. In commercial products such as those mentioned above, the fiber contents vary widely. Slim Fast provides about 5 grams of fiber, while Carnation Instant Breakfast has less than 1 gram. Regarding protein, Slim Fast with Soy has 15 grams of protein, Boost and Ensure have between 8 and 10 grams, and Carnation has only 4 grams of protein.

Another important note to remember is that you do still need solid foods every day. To aid in fiber, eat fruits and vegetables every day. A mid-day fruit snack is a great way to incorporate more fruit in your diet.

Two conditions that warrant the avoidance of liquid meals are diabetics and those who are lactose intolerant. Diabetics need to be wary of the high carbohydrate content and if you suffer from lactose intolerance, shakes and smoothies can exacerbate the problem due to dairy content. For this dilemna, making your own can help tremendously, as you can purchase lactose-free milk, etc.

Do take note as well, that when you are ill, your body requires higher amounts of calories and protein to aid in recovery. A smoothie or shake can give you the perfect nutrition boost in times of illness. Smoothies

Home Made Meals In a Glass

Following are some home made recipes for you. They all contain between 200 and 300 calories each and will sustain you for three to four hours. If you get bored with the flavors, add extracts such as almond, orange and peach to shakes or try using different fruit and juice bars.

High Protein Milkshake

Ingredients:
1 cup fortified milk
One large scoop ice cream
2 tablespoons butterscotch, chocolate or fruit syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Place all ingredients in blender or mixer. Blend at low speed until creamy.

Recipe makes one serving.

Calories: 485
Protein: 22g

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Fake Shake

Ingredients:
One frozen citrus fruit juice bar (about 2 ounces)
1 cup chilled soy-based milk substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Thaw fruit bar slightly (five to ten minutes until soft). Break into pieces in blender. Add other ingredients and blend on low speed for ten seconds. For more citrus flavor, add 1-tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate and 1-teaspoon sugar.

Recipe makes one serving.

Calories: 190
Protein: 3g

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Home Made Peanut Butter Shake

Ingredients:
1 cup vanilla-flavored nutritional supplement
1 pint low-fat vanilla ice cream
1 cup water
1 cup ginger ale
One banana
5 tablespoons peanut butter

Add all ingredients to blender and mix thoroughly until smooth. Refrigerate unused portion.

Recipe makes four servings.

Calories: 285
Protein: 9g

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Instant Breakfast Shake

Ingredients:
One package Instant breakfast mix
1 cup whole milk
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup sherbet, flavor of choice (two to three scoops)

Blend until smooth. Add more milk for thinner shake. If too sweet, add a few drops of lemon juice. Use flavor extracts to vary flavor when vanilla ice cream is used.

Recipe makes one serving.

Calories: 640
Protein: 24

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See also: High Calorie Drinks and Shakes

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